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Lying for Money: How Legendary Frauds Reveal the Workings of Our World
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Lying for Money: How Legendary Frauds Reveal the Workings of Our World

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  124 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Financial crime seems horribly complicated but there are only so many ways you can con someone out of what's theirs. In fact, there are four. A veteran regulatory economist and market analyst, Dan Davies has years of experience picking the bones out of some of the most famous frauds of the modern age. Now he reveals the big picture that emerges from their labyrinths of ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 5th 2018 by Profile Books
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Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, scandal
Very interesting read on the various creative ways in which one could be scammed. Includes real examples of past scams such as the Great Salad Oil Swindle. A valuable resource for business owners, managers and investors alike, who are looking to avoid the pitfalls of investing in the wrong business or simply being defrauded by employees. There's a saying that goes something like, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. This book goes a step further by advocating the more appropriate ...more
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book manages to be less than the sum of its parts, mainly because being excellent on Twitter doesn’t always (usually?) convert into being a good book-length writer. The examples of historic frauds are excellent, and just the right balance of technical and interesting. But the book lacks an overall thesis, other than interesting things about frauds. I enjoyed it, but it’s difficult to know who to recommend it to other than people who enjoy reading detailed summaries of the key components of ...more
Xavier Shay
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well written, funny, informative.

> If you want to be like Canada, you more or less have to accept that you’re going to be the kind of place where people assume that a guy in a suit is probably honest.

> This state of affairs is actually quite uncommon in the criminal justice system. Most trials only have a couple of liars in the witness box, and the question is a simple one of whether the accused did it or not. In a fraud trial, rather than denying responsibility for the actions involved,
Andrew Clarke
Decent overview of a bunch of common scams. I’d prefer more detail on the stories. One chapter was very in the clouds and I skimmed it. A few stories needed to be edited and rewritten, the flow and explanation were off.

I really loved Bad Blood, Liars Poker, Black Edge, Red Notice, and other similar financial crime books (morbid curiosity and hopefully a warning of what people to avoid as I work in the finance/tech industry). This was in a similar vein but didn’t quite scratch the itch. Probably
Terry Clague
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Terrific, entertaining history of financial scam and accounting fraud from a hugely insightful author, who's able to leverage expertise to get around what seems to be (to paraphrase Bill Shankly) a simple game made complicated by charlatans (to confuse juries).

Highly recommended, not least for the (largely male) names of the constellation of con-men who feature in the case studies, including Jordan Belfort ('simpering, sniggering' inspiration for the dull flick, Wolf of Wall Street), Dapper Dan
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really excellent book, already bought a second copy for a gift.
While the descriptions of different frauds were entertaining, it is the parts of the book that talk about how certain systems are susceptible that makes it stellar. Some really strong insight here that have had me thinking in entirely new ways about the subject - excellent!
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book might be on the dry, technical side, but it had me laughing out loud at some of the escapades. Apparently the most important attribute needed for committing financial fraud is balls of steel. This book is a riot. Highly recommended.
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book. It is both full of great stories about historic frauds, and also offers a very satisfying and nontechnical theoretical account of how fraud works, and how/when you might expect to see it.

(Disclosure: I know the author, but it really is very good)
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read. Fun stories of crooks and have been a longtime fan of the author's analytical style and humour on the internet for a while -and enjoyed that here a lot.
Warren Gossett
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simple lies about money and business arrangements become complicated with unexpected results. Do some cheaters win? Perhaps, but the odds are against you.
Laura Spira
A pleasant romp through some recent examples of fraud, some entertaining footnotes, but not as good as the classic "Fraud in the City" by Rowan Bosworth-Davies.
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
A book that shows that fraud is nothing new, some have a tinge of legality but are still fraudulent. As they say, crime, or in this case, fraud, however you frame it, doesn't pay.
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exciting and entertaining read. Good if you are working in one of the industries subject of the book (finances, legal, consulting and accounting services and capital-intensive businesses). It will help you develop a healthy level of scepticism on how things work in such industries. However, what I did not like were the parts of the book where the author goes away from describing the anecdotal cases and starts making some broad, far-reaching philosophical and theoretical conclusions about the ...more
Mike Gunderloy
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're planning a life of business fraud, you might want to read this first. Not because Davies tells the stories of fraudsters who got caught (though he does), but because he comes up with a theoretical framework for identifying those holes in our social system where fraud is easiest & most likely to succeed. From colonies in South America to VAT "carousel fraud" he does a fine job of providing a taxonomy of ways to make money without the bother of an honest day's work.
Richie T.
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Sep 06, 2019
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Aug 25, 2019
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Nov 25, 2018
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Dec 08, 2018
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